Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Denisova Cave

Researchers didn’t have high hopes when they examined some 700 shards of bone. The fossils were from Denisova Cave — a site in southern Siberia where, in 2010, scientists had discovered a previously unknown group of ancient humans. Researchers called them Denisovans.

In June 2015 a 2-centimetre sliver of bone tested positive for hominin collagen. Last year it was found the bone belonged to a woman who lived around 100,000 years ago. Her mother was a Neanderthal and father a Denisovan.
Other hominin bone fragments were found in Denisova Cave, and now efforts are extending the search for Denisovans across the continent, where traces of their DNA are found in many modern human populations. Scientists hope to find more complete Denisovan remains.

The DNA found suggests that Denisovans and Neanderthals are both descended from an ancestral population that diverged from that of modern humans in the past 800,000 years.